Talking about ending gender violence, United Kingdom High Commissioner to India Sir James Bevan said no country can flourish, including his own, without unleashing the talent of all its people.
Speaking to a group of youngsters at the British Council here on Tuesday, the High Commissioner said violence against women has taken place in all societies for thousands of years.
“Changing attitudes is always tough. Changing deep-seated cultural behaviour is even tougher. Vested interests will always fight to protect their privileges,” he said, adding that progress is being made.
“Of course women, girls and the socially excluded still face many challenges around the world, including here in India, but the big fact about the 21st Century is that things are getting better.”
Quoting French writer Victor Hugo, who said “all the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come”, the High Commissioner said the idea that everyone has equal rights is a powerful one and will not be beaten.
“Feminism is the radical idea that women are people,” he said.
Sir Bevan said he was optimistic about India and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had spoken out against violence against women and girls.
The idea that everyone has equal rights is a powerful one and will not be beaten, says Sir James Bevan